Culture Shock

A Biblical Response to Today’s Most Divisive Issues
Chip Ingram

Ingram begins the book by sharing examples of how our culture has gone off the tracks. The morals and understanding of right and wrong has gone by the wayside. He gives statistics that show how vast the chasm has come. In chapter 2, he gives a historical analysis to show how this sharp difference in moral standards has changed so drastically.

He lays out five divisive issues in our culture that have seen great changes in just the last 15 years. These issues are human sexuality, homosexuality, abortion, the environment, and politics. In each of these areas, there are extreme poles of the argument from conservatives to liberals. Each side has at least partial truths to espouse and debate. But we’re missing one another in the middle. We have made these debates about our views instead of caring for one another. There are real people dealing with real situations that we cannot minimize.

The first issue is human sexuality. Truth has been changed from absolute to relative. We can no longer simply quote the Bible and expect people to agree with it or follow it. Some people do not have the biblical framework or knowledge of what the Bible says. People have changed their views and practices in sexual matters. Even worse, Christians seem to be compromising with reality. History has not helped the Church deal with the issues.

The author develops and walks through a biblical approach to sex within marriage. The church has become shrewd about it and not talk what the Bible says about sex. He lays out some misunderstandings of the Church and the biblical truth that goes against them. He uses examples from his own life. He gets to the heart of the issue, idolatry: loving sex and sexual things about God.

Next, he addresses homosexuality in our culture. Christians have a hard time speaking up about these issues. You don’t want to upset your fellow neighbor, but the Bible says very specific things about homosexuality. He begins the chapter by apologizing to the house sexual community for the Church has done, focusing more and truth than love.

He takes on the propositions of scientific and homosexual community to try to make it normal and natural. He gives all the reasons they give for attacking Christians and trying to make them not only tolerate but accept and promote that lifestyle. Cannot do that according to Scripture. He then gives truths that show what the Bible actually says about this issue. He gives some of the reasons a person chooses a homosexual lifestyle, explaining how the Church can minister to people instead of shun them. He helps to expose the lies of the homosexual lifestyle.

Third, he sheds light on the issue of abortion which has pervaded our culture. Women are hurt and much blame is thrown around. Once again, he shows that this is about real people suffering from the actions of their past. For many, the issue is a struggle they must deal with now. How do we minister to one another when this divisive issue is so hurtful?

Both the right and the left had used for their political platforms and arguments that minimize the women involved. The left has changed its argument over time because of technology. The argument has turned from, “It’s a fetus” to “How to be responsible about your career and family life.” The right continues to take the position that it is a life from conception, and must be protected, sometimes at all costs. They are talking over one another, and their stand the victims of abortion with the parents that are being ministered to. Again, he shows both sides of the issue of abortion but shows the biblical standard and why it is so important.

The fourth issue is the environment. One side of the argument says that the environment must be nurtured and protected, even above the life of a human being. The other side of the issue says that the environment is here for us to dominate and domesticate, to subdue it to our own wishes. The Bible lies in the middle. God created the earth, and He gave it to us to steward. There’s a good place in the middle of these arguments that Christians to find.

Do you try to take care of the environment as much as you can? He examines six claims the Bible makes about the earth and some of it may surprise you. Christians must be done with reminded about creation. Because it belongs to God, and He has entrusted it to us, we must take care of it as we would take care of something so let us borrow. We must have the right priorities about the environment, now use that make God proud of us. We don’t have to repeat the earth. But we don’t have to treat it like it will make it through another day.

The final issue he addresses is politics. When preachers talk about the Bible, they must also talk about politics to a point. Some people want them to stay out of it. Others are upset they don’t address it more. How do Christians approach politics? Is just voting enough? This might be the most divisive issue: the Church and politics.

He gives for absolutes from the Bible about the Church and politics. The author focuses on Jesus’s answer to the question of “Must we pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Christians to citizens of earth and heaven. The Bible also says that Christians must submit to the governing authorities. Government has the role of restraining evil. Jesus put the Church here to make disciples. It does not make change through outside force, but through inner transformation.

Each Christian should decide how much he or she gets involved in politics. At the very least, we should be conscientious voters, seeking to choose the candidate that best represents God’s mountains. Some Christians will get involved in politics by running for office or supporting a political candidate in a very public way. Each one must settle this with God. As with all these five issues, Christians must be informed and stand for Christ in each issue.

In the final chapter, Ingram asks the question, “Where do we go from here?” These issues aren’t new. He wraps up the book by addressing the moral systems we live under and how to settle truth in Jesus. He is God’s Truth incarnate. The way our culture deals with Jesus shows its values and how far apart Christians are from the world. The truth is what we stand for.

Ingram wrote his masters thesis on absolute versus relative truth. Once you to be able to give a reason for the hope you have in love and truth. Make a difference when these issues,. He includes an appendix on how to answer questions about homosexuality from a biblical standpoint. This was a very helpful part of the book.

I really like the author’s approach with facts and statistics, as well as true stories where he changes the name. He shows that these issues affect the real lives of people around us. Christians must have a response to the changing nature of these crazy times. We must know the facts, and we must be able to see all the sides of the argument.

Ingram does a fine job of showing both sides of every issue he covers. My only wish is that he would do an updated version of the book with updated information. We need to continually be informed of these issues without anger and hostility each side brings to the table. This book will greatly increase your knowledge, show you the arguments from all sides of each debate, and arm you with the biblical helps to defend your views in a way that honors God. I recommend this for every Christian because we cannot stand on the sidelines, bury our heads in the sand, or just come out swinging. We need truth and love to prevail, and Chip Ingram helps us do that today. It is the best book I have read on current issues to date.

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